It's been almost a year and a half since my last relationship ended. During that time, I've slipped inside of myself and closed myself off to pretty much everyone. I've kept conversations to safe, common topics. I've kept people at an arm's distance. It's become my cold comfort to rely on myself, to answer to myself, to keep my own company ...
... until I had a long conversation with a very good friend. Usually, I am the one imparting the advice. This time, although I never asked for it, it was my turn to soak in some wisdom. He told me some things I already knew but didn't want to acknowledge. He reminded me of who I was before I became this emotional recluse. He urged me to allow myself the opportunity to be truly happy again.
Trying to learn from his counsel, I have taken some small steps toward recovering the pieces of me that I left to the universe many, many months ago. It isn't easy. I have spent so long building this safe, enclosed space for myself that I can't remember what it's like to allow anyone inside. How much of me is too much? What if my pace in opening up is too slow? What if I get hurt again? Yes, there are rational answers to all of those questions. But I'm not completely rational right now.
I have had a good couple of days since that long conversation. I find myself daydreaming and anticipating. My heart has started skipping again. I've felt that fire ... that burning in my soul ... that I thought had long since extinguished itself. I even feel like a little kid some of the time.
Yet I can't quiet the doubt in my head. Maybe I have nothing remaining to offer. Maybe I left all I had on the table the last time I played this game. Maybe I am too much of a reclamation project. Maybe there is nothing of me that anyone could want for very long.
It all is equal parts rapturous and frightening. I hope I truly am up to this new chapter of my life.